Chain Reaction Accidents / Multi-Vehicle Accidents
Being injured in a car accident that involved multiple vehicles can be an extremely frightening experience. These accidents can lead to devastating injuries that can affect every detail of a person’s day-to-day life. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a chain reaction accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At Therman Law Offices, our Wheaton and Schaumburg car accident attorneys are familiar with the issues that typically arise in chain reaction accident cases, and we can help you handle the nuances of the process.Chain Reaction Accidents Can Lead to Devastating Consequences
Chain reaction accidents, also sometimes known as multi-vehicle accidents, most often occur when more than two cars hit each other in a chain of rear-end collisions. Put another way, a chain reaction accident takes place when one car rear-ends the car in front of it and forces that car to crash into the vehicle in front of it (i.e., Driver 1 hits Driver 2, who is pushed into Driver 3, etc.). Sadly, these types of accidents are quite commonplace. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 15,000 people across the country are killed in chain reaction accidents on an annual basis. Data from the NHTSA also reveal that around 40 percent of all car crash deaths arise from multi-vehicle accidents.
Every driver has a duty to drive safely so that they do not endanger others on the road. However, many drivers engage in dangerous driving behaviors that can lead to serious chain reaction accidents. Common causes of these accidents include but are not limited to:
- A driver following too closely;
- A driver speeding;
- Inclement weather;
- A distracted driver (i.e., texting while driving);
- A driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Road conditions.
In most cases, the rear-most vehicle is the at-fault party because it was most likely negligence by the driver of that vehicle that set the chain reaction accident in motion. However, in some cases, when the vehicle in front unexpectedly stops, causing the vehicle behind it to rear-end it, liability might be more complicated, and your attorney will need to investigate the case carefully.
Essentially, the question of fault comes down to the concept of negligence. In Illinois, negligence occurs when a person fails to use reasonable care behind the wheel, thereby causing an accident and resulting injuries. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent or sensible person would have driven in the same or a similar situation. In short, failing to drive using reasonable care may be considered a negligent act if it was a direct cause of a chain reaction accident and resulting damages (i.e., bodily harm or property damage).
Illinois is a modified comparative fault state, which means that the law requires courts and juries to consider the contributory fault of each driver or other party involved in an accident. They can then assign a proportion of responsibility to each party involved in the accident. Under this rule, if an injured driver was 51 percent or more at fault for the accident, that driver will not be able to recover compensation for the accident. However, if an injured driver was 50 percent or less at fault for the accident, he or she will be able to recover damages, but the damages will be reduced in proportion to that driver’s fault. For example, if the injured driver is found to be 20 percent at fault, he or she will go home with 80 percent of the total damages award.Get Assistance from an Attorney Following a Crash in the Wheaton or Schaumburg Areas
Chain reaction accidents can lead to serious injuries or even death. If you have been injured in a chain reaction accident that was not your fault, you need to reach out to a personal injury attorney who can help you assert your rights. At Therman Law Offices, we can help you pursue the justice and compensation that you deserve for your harm. With extensive experience in this area of law, we understand how to handle even the most complex personal injury cases. We proudly serve people in Wheaton and Schaumburg, as well as Bloomingdale, Roselle, Carol Stream, Glendale Heights, Lombard, Villa Park, Addison, and Elmhurst. For a free case evaluation, call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.